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Vladimir Putin picks berries, hikes mountains in new Russian reality TV show

Click to play video: 'Russian TV launches series following Putin called ‘Moscow. Kremlin. Putin’'
Russian TV launches series following Putin called ‘Moscow. Kremlin. Putin’
ABOVE: Russian TV launches series following Putin called 'Moscow. Kremlin. Putin' – Sep 4, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin has a new reality television series in which cameras document his weekly activities, such as scouring for berries in the forest, traversing lakes and rivers, and meeting with schoolchildren.

The first one-hour episode aired Sunday night on Russia state television, showing the 65-year-old leader hiking in the Siberian countryside during his latest vacation. Putin is shown walking up a mountain with a hiking stick, while employees compliment his physical fitness and his “very empathetic” personality, The Guardian reported.

During one scene, Putin is watching wildlife from a boat, while saying: “They’re not afraid of us.”

Putin sitting in a boat during his visit in the Tuva region in Siberia, Russia, on Aug. 26.

The series, called Russia, Kremlin, Putin, launched during a time when Putin is also suffering from one of his largest popularity dips in years. On Tuesday, thousands of Russians protested across the country due to the Kremlin’s unpopular plan to raise the age for receiving a pension.

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But Putin was praised during the program for his handling of the pension-reform issue, with a senior lawmaker saying the president “wasn’t scared to take responsibility” in the matter, according to Radio-Free Europe.

Here is a summary of other quotes made during the first episode.

Putin on an outdoor trip during his visit in the Tuva region in Siberia, Russia, Aug. 6, 2018. Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

‘If a bear sees Putin … they will behave themselves properly’

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The television show features Putin interacting with nature during his trip in Tuva, a remote region in Siberia.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman and studio guest for the show, joked that the bears were scared of Putin, according to The Guardian.

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“This is wild nature. There are bears there,” Peskov said. “Bodyguards are armed in an appropriate manner, just in case. Although if a bear sees Putin — they aren’t idiots — they will behave themselves properly.”

Putin on an outdoor trip during his visit in the Tuva region in Siberia. Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

‘It’s clear how much he loves children’

The presenter of the show, Vladimir Soloviev talked about Putin’s attitude toward children and showed clips of the leader shaking hands with young people.

“When Putin talks to the mother of a child or looks at a child, it’s clear how much he loves children. He has a human, sincere attitude toward children,” Soloviev said, according to The Guardian.

Peskov also said: “Putin doesn’t only love children, he loves people in general. He is a very humane person.”

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WATCH: Putin waters down unpopular pension plans in Russia after retirement age hike

Click to play video: 'Putin waters down unpopular pension plans in Russia after retirement age hike'
Putin waters down unpopular pension plans in Russia after retirement age hike

‘The goats didn’t run away’

During Putin’s hike in Siberia, the group came across a group of wild goats.

“Being even the most skittish animals in the world, after seeing Putin, the goats didn’t run away,” Peskov told the television host. “They continued to graze right next to him. As someone joked: ‘They probably recognized him.'”

A picture made available on Aug. 27, 2018, shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaking with the Director of the Sayano-Shushenskiy State Biospheric Nature Reserve, Gennady Kiselev (L), during his vacation in the Republic of Tuva, in southern Siberia. Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

‘He is in such fantastic shape’

Pavel Zarubin, a Kremlin pool reporter who accompanied Putin on the trip, told the television show’s host that Putin’s physical-fitness level is top-notch, saying that he “can’t even understand how he keeps up this schedule, this marathon,” according to Radio-Free Europe.

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Solovyov also promised to show viewers at the end of the program, “the secrets of the president’s physical fitness, and why he is in such fantastic shape.”

On Monday, Peskov said the new show was entirely the creation of the channel, (which is controlled by the Kremlin), and that it represented a “balanced” view, according to Agence France-Presse.

But Global affairs analyst, Susan Glasser, told CNN that the television show is nothing more than propaganda.

Putin rests during a mini-break in the Siberian Tyva region, Russia. Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

“Classic Kremlin project to elevate Vladimir Putin and to humanize him at a time when he’s under increasing foul from his own public. It’s not an accident that this is occurring, it seems to me, right at a time when he’s embroiled in a very political controversy,” Glasser told CNN.

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WATCH: Putin and Xi treat themselves with pancakes, vodka and caviar
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Putin and Xi treat themselves with pancakes, vodka and caviar

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